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Sixth form students from across the Midlands met at Derby University on Wednesday this week to take part in a management team game that saw them acting out the roles of the management team in the fictional borough council of Lyechester. The game was a Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) team management exercise and is one of a series taking place throughout the Midlands this summer.
In the day long exercise the student management teams faced scenarios such as a visit from their local MP, an angry Trade Union Official and a press enquiry and subsequent press conference. All this while trying to continue the day job of balancing the council’s budget, making significant cuts and continuing to provide services with reduced funding.
The students worked hard throughout the day under severe time pressures and excelled in their task of managing the Council’s finances at the Britannia Mill site of the University, enjoying the excellent facilities on offer.
Five schools from across the region took part in the exercise and the eventual winner of the game was a team from Bourne Grammar School in Lincolnshire.
Many of the students enjoyed their day experiencing public sector finance and a number commented on what had they had learnt in their feedback.
One of the students from the winning team said:
“During the day I have developed my confidence and gained a greater understanding of issues facing councils on a regular basis”.
Another of the students from the winning team explained:
“I have really learnt how everyone has different skills and jobs should be allocated for everyone to work efficiently”.
Other students commented on how the game had challenged them while being enjoyable at the same time.
Students and qualified CIPFA accountants were on hand to guide the sixth form students through the day and were very impressed by the focus of the sixth formers under significant pressure and the standard of work that they produced throughout the day.
Chris Gill, the lead volunteer for this game, said:
“This CIPFA management game is a brilliant opportunity for local students to understand the way our public finances are managed and the difficulties our finance teams have in choosing between competing and often equally important priorities.
“The students involved today were very focused on undertaking the tasks in hand; they remained engaged throughout the day and hopefully will have taken much away from the game that will be useful for their future careers and general development.
“This country needs the best managers to be running our local authorities and other public sector organisations and perhaps some of these young people are the Public Sector finance directors of the future.”
The game, devised and run by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), is intended to help fill a gap in Business Studies courses, which tend to concentrate on commercial activities and often do not cover the public sector in any way.
Photographs of the winning team and other students are available on request. Please contact the CIPFA press office on: 020 7543 5787.
The event took place on Wednesday 25 June at the University of Derby and the six teams from five schools that took part in the exercise were:
You can find further information on the sixth form management games in the Midlands on CIPFA’s website.